Revised Epilogue – The Mystery of Burrows Bay

Spoilers! Do not read this unless you’ve already finished all three books.

Epilogue

Gabbi looked in the mirror and smoothed her dress.  The emerald necklace sparkled and went perfectly with the earrings Moira had loaned her.  Those were her something old and something borrowed.  Her dress was new, but Gabbi realized she didn’t have anything blue.  She looked up as the door opened.

“You look beautiful,” Devaney said. 

“Mom!”  Gabbi stood up.  “You made it.”

“Of course, I did.”  Devaney walked over and hugged her daughter.  “I know we haven’t always been as close as we’d like, but I’m so happy for you.”

“I didn’t know if you’d get my invitation,” Gabbi said. 

“My neighbor forwarded it to me.”  Devaney smiled.  “I got married a few months ago, and I live in Portland now.”

“That’s not so far away,” Gabbi replied.  “Dad’s downstairs.

“I’ve already seen him.” Devaney shook her head.  “Believe it or not, he and Adam are getting along very well.”

“Adam is your new husband?” Gabbi asked.

“Yes,” Devaney replied, “but we can talk about that later.  I wanted to give you something.”  She opened her purse and took out a tanzanite bracelet.  “I thought you might need something blue.  Well, lavender blue.”

“Mom, this is perfect!”  Gabbi quickly put it on.  “Thank you.”

“Now, there are three young ladies out there waiting for you.”  Devaney opened the door.  “I’ll see you at the reception.”

Moira walked in wearing an emerald green dress, followed by Emma and Marissa in cranberry red.  All three dresses were similar to Gabbi’s with off the shoulder straps and a fitted bodice.  The bridesmaid dresses had flowing skirts, while the bride’s dress was more fitted and covered with white lace.

“Are you ready?” Moira asked.

“I am,” Gabbi replied.  “How does everything look downstairs?”

“Exactly as you would expect for a Christmas Eve wedding,” Marissa replied.

“Don’t forget these,” Emma said, handing Gabbi the flowers.  The bouquet separated into two parts. 

“It’s been doing that all afternoon,” Moira said.  “Let me see what I can do.”  She quickly wrapped some tape around it.  “Just hold on to it here, and no one will know the difference.”

“Let’s hope this is the only thing that goes wrong today,” Gabbi replied.

“Your wedding is going to be amazing.”  Marissa smiled.  “And you look lovely.”

“Uncle Montgomery is waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs,” Moira said.  They all left and Gabbi checked her dress once more in the mirror.  Taking a deep breath, she opened the door and walked down the hall to the stairs.

As she came down the stairs, which were decorated with pine boughs and poinsettias, Gabbi saw her dad.  He looked so handsome in his black tux, and as she reached the last step, she took his arm.  They walked into the ballroom, and she saw Matthew standing by the minister.  She smiled as she walked towards him and took his hand.

After the ceremony, Gabbi and Matthew cut the cake, shared the first dance and had a lovely dinner with all their friends and family.  Of course, Matthew’s family had come up from California, and Moira’s parents were there, too.

Gabbi was dancing with Matthew again and smiled as she touched the emerald necklace.  She knew he was the right man for her, but she still loved the idea of sharing this family tradition.  All the Three had done it except for Maggie.

“I’ll be right back,” Gabbi said. 

Matthew smiled and let go of her hand.  “I’ll be here.”

She walked towards the entry and saw Moira dancing with Jack.  Those two were perfect for each other.  She continued up the stairs to the library and went out on the balcony.  It was cold, but this wouldn’t take long.

“Gran, I have a feeling you’ve been watching over us this entire time.  I want you to know that I appreciate everything you’ve given me.  Not just the house, and the chance to start my own business, but a real family.”  Gabbi smiled.  “Thank you.”

She looked out at the water, then walked back inside and down the stairs.  Moira was waiting for her.  “It’s time to throw the bouquet.”

“Should we do it here?” Gabbi asked.

“Probably more room than in the parlor,” Moira agreed.  “Why don’t you take the flowers halfway up the stairs, then you can throw them over your shoulder.”

Moira announced that all the single women should gather at the bottom of the stairs.  Moira took Emma’s arm.  “Come on.  It will be fun.”

“It’s not really my thing,” Emma replied.   She looked up at Gabbi.  “Fine, but I’m not catching it.”

“I will,” Marissa replied, glancing at George.  They’d been going out since Moira and Jack’s reception.

“Is everyone ready?” Gabbi asked.  She turned around and threw the bouquet, which separated in midair.  Half went right to Marissa, who caught it and smiled.  The other half bounced off Lizzie’s hands and hit Emma in the chest.  She grabbed it instinctively and shook her head.  She looked over at Nick and smiled. 

“Nice catch,” he said.

They all walked back into the ballroom as Gabbi came down the stairs and smiled at Moira.  “I never thought I’d be so happy.”

“I did,” Moira said.  “You deserve a happy ending.”

“We all do,” Gabbi agreed.

* * * * *

Gabbi looked up at Matthew and smiled.  “So, this is what married life is like.  I have to say, so far I’m really enjoying it!”

“Seeing that we’ve been married less than three hours, it might be a little too early to form an opinion.”  He twirled her around the dance floor again.  “But I agree, so far it’s been wonderful.”

“And we haven’t even gotten to the honeymoon,” Gabbi whispered in his ear.

Matthew gave her a long kiss that promised a lot more to come.  “Maybe we should think about leaving pretty soon,” he finally said.

Gabbi glanced around at their friends and family, some dancing with them, others talking in the entry or parlor.  “I think Moira and Jack take handle the goodbyes.”  She grabbed onto him a little tighter as he dipped her. 

“Better pay attention,” he teased.

“Maybe I should lead,” Gabbi replied, staring up at him as he held her.

He slowly brought her back up.  “Life is never going to be boring with you, is it?”

“Not for a moment,” she promised.

“Are you two having fun?” Moira asked, walking over to join them.  “If you want to leave pretty soon, Jack and I can handle the goodbyes.”

“Cuz, it’s like you read my mind sometimes,” Gabbi said, taking her arm and walking over to the window.  “Look, it’s snowing!”

“I thought you said it doesn’t snow here.” Moira smiled. “Maybe only for very special occasions…like weddings and Christmas.”

“It snows,” Gabbi replied.  “But I like your idea about special occasions.”  Gabbi smiled and gave Moira a hug.  “Can you make sure Carol has ride back to the hotel?” 

Gabbi’s friend from her old apartment building had come to the wedding.  Hearing her name, Carol walked over. “Actually, that handsome man over there just offered to drop me off.” 

“Arthur?” Moira asked, glancing over at their attorney. 

 Carol gave Gabbi a big hug.  “Quite the catch you have there.”

Gabbi glanced over at Matthew.  “Yes, he is.  Now, what’s this about Arthur?”

Carol raised an eyebrow.  “Guess I didn’t do too bad myself.”

Gabbi couldn’t help a giggle.  “Carol, he’s our attorney.”

“I won’t hold that against him,” Carol said, giving Moira a quick hug and walking over to Arthur.  “Let’s go.”

“I did not see that coming,” Moira said.

“I did.”  Gabbi smiled.  “He’s definitely her type.”

“Really?” Moira asked in surprise.

“Arthur’s quite the catch,” Gabbi said.  “And I should probably get my handsome husband back to our hotel before the snow gets any deeper.” 

Moira hugged her.  “Have a wonderful time!”

Everyone said their goodbyes as Matthew helped Gabbi on with her coat.  As they walked out to the car, Matthew opened her door.

“It would be closer to go to your house,” Gabbi said.

“Our house,” Matthew reminded her.  “But with my family staying there, I think we’d be better off driving to the hotel.”

“Good point,” Gabbi agreed, then smiled as he held up a bottle of champagne.  “I didn’t see you take that.”

“You weren’t paying attention,” he teased.

“My mistake,” Gabbi said as he got into the car.  “I promise to pay attention the rest of the evening.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” Matthew smiled, then his look softened.  “You are so beautiful.”

“You look pretty amazing yourself,” Gabbi replied, then kissed him.  “Now, let’s go to the hotel and enjoy that champagne.”

* * * * *

When the last guest left, Moira turned to Jack and smiled.  “That was really lovely.”

“Do you wish we’d had a wedding like that?” Jack asked, putting his arms around her.

“No, our wedding was perfect,” Moira replied.  “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“Neither would I,” Jack said.  “I especially liked the honeymoon.”

“Really?” Moira asked.  “Maybe we should go talk about that at home, and you can show me what you enjoyed so much, Mr. Stewart.”

“That is an excellent idea, Mrs. Stewart,” Jack agreed, leaning over and kissing her.

The End

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